The greatness of small acts

small actsLike most people, I often feel that my small acts of kindness or compassion are really insignificant in this big World that we live in. But I realize today that it is these small acts that truly change our World in immense and powerful ways.

I was recently reading an article about Helen Keller, and found that it was a woman named Anne Mansfield Sullivan that actually changed the World. Most of us have likely never heard her name before, but her generosity, compassion and loving kindness has had a ripple effect that still resonates 125 years later. By simply holding Helen’s hand under running water and teaching her a sign that meant water, not only did she offer hope and joy to 7-year-old Helen Keller, but began the creation of sign language that is used today by millions of people around the World.

I highly doubt that Anne Sullivan had any idea of what was to come of her kindness, but her intention was pure and noble. She was obviously fully present and aware, and her heart put intention and love into action. And what a powerful force it was that she created at the very moment! Pure, unconditional, and without expectation, she offered the greatest gift she could offer little Helen. And beyond the gift she gave to Helen, she gave the gift of signing along with the seeds of greatness that developed throughout years as Helen Keller grew and matured. Helen Keller became an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was also the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the United States’ two highest civilian honors.

But even beyond all of this impact on the World, there is even more. And that is the awareness that this example proves to each one of us, in that we do in fact have the power to change the World. Every single action and word, regardless of how small or insignificant it may seem, lays the groundwork for global ramifications. Like a pebble being tossed in a pond, we create ripples that go on long after we have walked away. And knowing this cause and effect, we have a chance to be more mindful so that these ripples are wholesome and kind. Conducive to promoting love and goodwill toward one another. While at the same time, doing so without attachment or expectation. Acting with a purity of heart and focused intention that puts us squarely in the midst of the present moment. Not to make it ours, but simply to connect with ourself and whoever we are interacting with in totality.

Like looking at the Earth from space, there is an awesome beauty in the complexity and harmony with which we all occupy merely a minuscule place. And with this perspective, it is clear the impact of positive and negative effects that can occur around the globe by one small act in any location. Our lives are truly just a microcosm of this same type of synergy. Our thoughts, words and actions, are profoundly impactful. Individually we have the immense power and gift to make this World a better place. Not just for this moment or this day, but for generations to come. None of us are insignificant, but are in fact all deeply and fundamentally interconnected.
Live joyfully, and give the beautiful gift of yourself with reckless abandon.